How to Build Your Personal Brand as a Writer

I know, I know. The writer is usually antisocial, asocial, or just shy, and the idea of building a brand is something that only those extroverts take pleasure in doing.

Well, tell you what: in today’s marketplace, if you do not have a brand, you do not exist.

So, what can you do to build an online brand as a writer?

Writing is not just an art, but also a business.

Before you even begin to think of building your brand, you have start viewing writing as a business.

And every business must have:

  • a social media presence
  • a portfolio
  • contact information

And, yes, you can do almost all of this via a website/blog. This is how your target audience will find you. This is how folks will be able to buy your books..

If you do not make yourself available, no one will find you.

That’s why it is crucial to build a beautiful website that shows off your personality, the genre you write in. Furthermore, the design of your website, logos, marketing material should all be in sync.

What message do you want to convey? What do you want a visitor to do when stumbling upon your website?

Now, you need to promote.

Most folks create a website, write a few blog posts once in a while, and then resort to complaining to everyone who’ll listen that nobody wants to buy their books.

When starting out, you must go to them. The readers, I mean. You must promote on all sorts of different platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Medium, or Quora.

The amount of time you spend doing this is up to you, but the quality of the interactions you have with people (who are all potential readers) should not be compromised.

Go all in when it comes to a book launch.

You build a brand by being unapologetic.

It is what it is.

If you silently release a book once every six months, and you barely write a blog post, most people won’t even know you are a writer.

You need to use all the tools at your disposal: podcasts, interviews, book signings, speaking engagements.

Offer a free download to those who subscribe to your newsletter.

Offer folks small snippets from works in progress.

And give them a glimpse behind the scenes.

You must, absolutely must, have a newsletter.

A newsletter is how you stay in touch with your audience. It’s a more direct, personal way than writing a blog.

Also, a newsletter is the perfect opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your niche: if you write personal development books, you can ask your readers to ask your for advice, and you can answer an e-mail every week in your newsletter.

Or you can feature one of your readers there.

If you are a motivational writer, you can send short motivational quotes as a way to inspire your readers.

DO NOT, under any circumstance, use a newsletter as an outlet to share your blog posts. Or continuously self-promote.

You need to add value in every interaction you have with your readers.

Set some goals. Smash them to smithereens.

Building a personal brand is all about interactions.

It’s about getting the word out. It’s about developing a strategy that allows you to take those small steps towards your goals.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is your ideal reader?
  • How many new readers would you like to reach on a monthly basis?
  • How can you reach those people? Where are they most likely to be?

Once you have established some goals and plans, then start by going after potential readers one small step at a time.

Do that podcast, start that YouTube channel. Write guest blogs. Do that interview.

The trick is to do the things that you are not only comfortable about doing, but also would enjoy.

Some are not good when it comes to video, so starting a vlog will prove to be time consuming and counteproductive.

Be self-aware enough to know what you’re good at and go all in.

Building a personal brand is not a difficult process. It requires a lot of time and energy, yes, but it all comes down to engaging with potential readers, and most times that can motivate and inspire you.

15 thoughts on “How to Build Your Personal Brand as a Writer

  1. As a poet, I have been fortunate enough to be invited onto several small radio stations which has enabled me to reach a wider audience. Once the show is arcived, I’ve linked to the podcast, which has helped in that it enables those who did not catch my appearance, to listen back to it. I also have business cards which I hand out from time to time. It is, I believe important not to forget face-to-face interactions in this digital world. Meeting a poet (or other writer) face-to-face does, in my experience intrigue people and its a good opportunity to promote one’s work, although one should (obviously) not force those who are not interested to listen to you talking about your books etc. Thanks for the post, Kevin

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I will just keep writing. With Amazon publishing a new book every SIX minutes, this is an uphill battle.
    And then there is still a life to be lived. If i have to spend 3 times the amount of time in promoting then in writing a book, I will have no life anymore. It takes me on the average 2 years to write a book. Even if I would be lucky to find a traditional publisher, I would get an advance of 10,000 usd and still would have to spend the same time on promoting. I’m probably doomed to sink into oblivion or to do something that brings me an instant reputation. Becoming a serial killer for example.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Personalizing any art form and making a business out of it is a double challenge. It is hard to be an effective business person, as it is to be an effective commercial artist. Blending the two is close to impossible, much like herding cats.
    A trusted business friend can be a workable solution.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I partially agree. Yes, it is really hard to be both an artist/critic and a businessman. It can be a challenge almost impossible to overcome. But you don’t have to be Beyonce and have that kind of popularity, it is important to have a personal relationship with your readers, and the ones which enjoy your art, nowadays. Your “fan base” can be relatively small, but important to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A writer without a reader doesn’t exist – a bit sad. It’s a journey indeed. I am currently building my portfolio as a copywriter. It’s not only about mastering my writing skills, it’s also about conducting keyword research, learning about SEO, keeping myself up to date with public affairs, providing excellent customer service, studying client behaviour, learn from successful fellow copywriters and much more. I love building my own brand persona, though- as it reflects who I am and everything I do for the client — motivates me! Happy writing everyone and many happy happy readers!

    Liked by 1 person

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